A Mercy Setting & Symbolism

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Slavery is one of the main themes in Toni Morrison's A Mercy. The majority of the characters, including Florens, are slaves.

The story takes place in 1690 in Virginia where the majority of the characters are "natives." The term "natives" is never clearly explained since at times it refers to Native Americas while at times it refers to African Americans or interracial people.

Slaves are put into two categories: slaves and indentured servants. Whereas slaves are bought and sold, indentured servants are created when people commit to a certain number of years' work in exchange for a loan or other favor which usually entails passage to America.

The main slaves in the story include Minha mãe, Florens, Lina, and Sorrow. The indentured servants on the Vaark farm are Willard and Scully.

Slaves are often treated as savages and in many cases, worse than animals. The best example...

(read more from the Objects/Places section)

This section contains 721 words
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Buy the A Mercy Study Guide
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